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Top Stories 2016: Accidents on Interstate 95

This is the ninth of 10 vignettes about the top local stories of the year, as chosen by the staff of The Day. To see all of the top stories of the year, visit

It was just 11 days into the new year that the region experienced its first fatal crash on Interstate 95 — one that occurred just south of Exit 72 and claimed two lives.

A day later, a messy, double-tractor-trailer wreck, this one between exits 70 and 71, closed the highway for several hours and prompted Waterford, East Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook officials to call for action — again.

At first, representatives of the state Department of Transportation pointed to human error, not the highway, as the root cause of the problem.

By May, however, DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker acknowledged widening I-95 and improving its interchange with Interstate 395 should be on the “front burner.”

Through the summer, and as recently as Dec. 1, the highway-closing crashes continued.

In November, the DOT announced it would conduct a $500,000 study on how to improve safety along I-95. Some readers may have found solace in that. Many did not.


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